From Feinberg & Willer (2013)

Some supporting evidence for the argument that environmental issues are usually framed in ways that resonate with the moral values of progressives, but not so much with those of conservatives. Namely, the harm/care domain of moral foundations theory, which progressives care much more about than conservatives do, is heavily emphasized, while purity/sanctity, which is important to conservatives but not at all to liberals, is absent. Also, they argue that conservatives can be made to care about environmental issues if they’re framed in the right way.

We argue that these differences result from a tendency for harm- and care-based moral arguments, bases of moral reasoning that are more compelling to liberals than to conservatives, to dominate environmental rhetoric. — Thus, we hypothesized that exposing conservatives to proenvironmental appeals based on moral concerns that uniquely resonate with them will lead them to view the environment in moral terms and be more supportive of proen-vironmental efforts. — These results suggest that political polarization around environmental issues is not inevitable but can be reduced by crafting proenvironmental arguments that resonate with the values of American conservatives.

Feinberg, M., & Willer, R. (2013). The Moral Roots of Environmental Attitudes. Psychological Science, 24(1), 56–62.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *